Exploring the Third Season of Life


In 2010, I left my 34-year career in education to build a mountain home with my husband. Literal house-building moved forward, but I could not figure out how to do the same metaphorically. I had reached that point in life where I had to look back to make sense of the past in order to build a purposeful third stage of life. Four mysteries presented themselves: who was my husband’s deceased daughter, who I never met; who was I now that I was not teaching or raising children; what really happened in 1957 when a man came to rob our house and hurt my mother; how and why were these mysteries connected?

Wisdom Builds Her House, released by Brandylane Publishers, August 20, 2024.

Wisdom Builds Her House is available for pre-order in paperback and e-book; the audiobook in production for summer release.

See what people are saying about the book:

“The second half of life often finds us dismantling parts of what we worked so hard to build in the first half, discarding some of those old building materials and repurposing others. Carole Duff’s deeply personal writing invites readers into that uncomfortable, disorienting process as she excavates her family history, explores the searing journals of her husband’s late daughter, and builds a house and new life after a busy, fulfilling career. Carole’s newfound faith guided her as she reflected deeply on her past’s prologue in order to move into a place of healing: a house that has now become in every sense of the word a home.”

– Michelle Van Loon, author of 7 books including Becoming Sage: Cultivating Meaning, Purpose, and Spirituality in Midlife

“In this beautifully crafted memoir full of rich, sensory imagery, Carole Duff takes readers with her on her dangerous yet healing journey of growth and faith in her maturing season. This book will speak tenderly to those building a second marriage, those seeking purpose after closing the book of a long career, and those wrestling with shame and God’s gentle whisper to ‘leave it.'”

– Afton Rorvik, author of Living Connected: an Introvert’s Guide to Friendship and Storm Sisters: Friends through All Seasons 

Wisdom Builds Her House is a captivating memoir that delves into the profound themes of searching, and finding, grace, mercy, and wisdom. Written with heartfelt sincerity, Carole Duff takes us on an inspiring and deeply personal odyssey through her life’s most profound moments, revealing a narrative filled with spiritual awakening and transformative experiences. This entrancing narrative is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a reminder that ‘Some truths can only be seen in darkness.'”

– Lisa St. John, author of Swallowing Stones